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China's Chang'e 4 mission recently initiated biological experiments on our moon. There's value in performing those experiments, of course. Now, I'd be curious to see how tardigrades do in the long term there. But would this only satisfy curiosity, or would there be scientific value as well?

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  • $\begingroup$ Boring answer is probably because they are too small (and aquatic) to use a simple camera with. Could also be argued that learning to support tardigrades on the moon does not do much, learning to support food crops does more. $\endgroup$ – GremlinWranger Jan 19 '19 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ @GremlinWranger Microscopes in Space? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 25 '19 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ @ Uhoh For a serious lab, certainly. You would need some sort of moveable lens assembly though so your total package volume/weight starts to look like what Chang'e flew but getting less PR friendly results. For a more comprehensive experiment you probably want something like the Curiosity hand lens imager inside your experimental space. Or a human. $\endgroup$ – GremlinWranger Jan 25 '19 at 5:52

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